This blog, and all other sites residing on our home webserver will be off-line for most of Monday May 1st.
Our provider is going to do some heavy reconfiguration of their infrastructure here in Enschede. This means that our DSL will be disconnected starting at 0:00 AM, and ending no later than 12:00 AM, of May 1st.
It is possible that we will get a new fixed IP address as a result of this maintenance work. That would mean it may take another 4 to 12 hours before our websites can be reached again. The time it takes to propagate the new IP address in the DNS settings for our domains.
See you 'on the other side' :)0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Should Mainstream Media Be Worried?
The discussion whether blogs will replace journalism is as old as blogs are, and the answer still is a resounding No, afaik. But we will increasingly see attempts to blend different aspects and pieces of functionality from both sides of the discussion. Our local newspaper is one of the few main stream media companies that has been experimenting with social software like features for a long time. They were the first that had commenting on each news article. And they recently launched local sites where citizens can report stories themselves, being mixed with what the reporters bring in. They also have ranking tools on their site, showing you the most read pages for instance. Too bad the number 1 read page is.....404 Page Not Found.
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Systematic Innovation Or TRIZ Revisited
Triz and me
A few years back I came across a method to focus creative energy to generate useful ideas called TRIZ. I was a bit sceptical then as to its real creative and innovative potential. That scepsis hasn't entirely gone but I do have gained a much clearer picture of where TRIZ is useful over the past 6 months or so.
Valeri Souchkov is TRIZ's strongest and most experienced proponent here in the Netherlands I think and he has booked great results for his clients using TRIZ with them. I met Valeri last November and we are, together with Colby Stuart, looking to combine our energy and experience regarding promoting innovation as a culture. Valeri invited me to a TRIZ day last week (another one is probably in June), where TRIZ was explained in more detail and most of all cases were presented.
Jacques Stevens of i|d|e partners showed us how they help solve problems and issues in their clients' products, as well as explore what the next generation of that product is likely to be. They integrated TRIZ as a method in their toolset. Both for idea-creation as well as for testing ideas after the creation-phase, and for finding evolutionary axis along which a product can be developed further. Being an engineering firm, a pumping system, a camera mounting crane and other technological examples were presented. Good stuff from what looks like a very energetic and creative company and team.
Other examples related to branding and positioning questions from a large consulting and accounting firm, barriers in innovation networks at Chemelot, and a number of more technologically oriented problems from a Korean steel mill and Samsung.
Triz and me II
I generally belief that organizations lacking innovative potential isn't due to the number of ideas they get. Usually their ability, or rather inability, to bring ideas to action, to package them in such a way that they can move easily through existing business processes or structures, or to see when new structures are needed and how to build them, is what keeps them back.
Being able to generate ideas quickly and effectively by focussing your creative energy on things that really matter or promise most however, frees up time, energy and other resources to then shape the path to action. And that is a very good thing. TRIZ can help you speed up your movement along the trajectory of sustaining innovation and thus keep ahead of competition. It helps in the creation, testing and filtering phase of ideas. I don't think it will help you jump from one trajectory to the next though (from one technology S-curve to the next e.g.). But perhaps it can help you judge emergent patterns better, that might contain the seeds for a new S-curve, using it as a filtering instrument again. Innovation to my mind is a culture or attitude more than a product (as it is generally treated here in the NetherlandS), and tools like TRIZ help you build innovative thinking and tapping creativity into your processes by providing a systematic approach.
In the coming weeks I'll reserve some time to play around with TRIZ regarding a few questions I am pondering already. Let's see if it takes me anywhere.
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Cynefin Case Study
A few interesting quotes:
The challenge and responsibility in managing complexity is moving from analyzing the past to imaging the future. The key is: Don't try to be right, try to not be wrong.
Companies have to change their cultures to move from "knowledge is power" to "sharing is power." One advantage of the acceleration of culture and technology is that knowledge becomes outdated sooner, reducing the "holding power" of individuals.
Preferred futures, pattern scouting, sharing as necessity and the increasing evolutionary speed in culture and tech. All my pet topics in a row.0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Plazes API Released
I have been planning to write a post on Plazes for some weeks. Ever after they started implementing features that came out of a round of feedback they sought.
Today I found that Stefan and Felix have announced that a Plazes API is now available, opening it up to the wider field of programmers and code hackers at large, to play with and build their own interesting apps from it. Get to it!
Meanwhile I will try to spend the time needed to turn my thoughts on Plazes into the planned blogpost.
My current thinking about combining the information landscape with the physical one, and how social software works differently for different social distances in the relationships it helps support ties in nicely with some features of Plazes. And perhaps writing it also opens up new avenues for Plazes to pursue.
tOKo Eats Movable Type Alive
Those of you who have been at BlogTalk 2 in Vienna in 2004, have glimpsed some of the work Anjo Anjewierden (University of Amsterdam) has been doing on tracking communities, conversations and topics through blognetworks.
Original aim was to see if knowledge is indeed spread through these text-based virtual communities. You might e.g. expect that something that has been discussed should afterwards pop up in people's writings where it didn't before: propagation of ideas and insights. Anjo worked with a dataset of all 2004 postings of a group of blogs, but now is ready to expand.
Now it is up to us to feed Anjo's dataset. For those that use Movable Type or can export in the same format, it has now become as easy as clicking the Export button to help feed Anjo's tools.
Head on over to Anjo's call to arms, read what he is looking for, and contribute if you can!
Rumours are flying that BlogTalk Reloaded may be a good point in time to present results.
Spammer's Sense of Humour
In the last 24 hours a number of spam comments were entered in the queue for moderation. All were complimenting the quality of my 'site', but also said it was sad that there was such a lot of spam on it. :)
Spammer's sense of humour, or even empathy?4 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
Meeting Jon Husband in Antwerp
Yesterday Elmine and I took the car down to Antwerp to meet Jon Husband (of Qumana fame) who came up from Paris. In travel time Antwerp was half way for all of us, and a city we all three wanted to visit for a day anyway.
We met Jon before, about two years ago, when he visited our home, and it was great fun to meet up again. A thought that passed through my head on the way to Antwerp, was on Jon's mind as well, as he made a remark about it as we walked out of Antwerp Central Station. Meeting face to face for a second time, especially if some time has passed, is about reaffirmation.
You know when you get in touch through your blog, and that interaction starts to spill over into other media you feel connected. The first face to face meeting is about curiousity: wanting to see more of the person behind the on-line exchanges. But that first meeting usually for me is when I really start to feel a bond with somebody. Even if before that the on-line exchanges were minimal, meeting with people stay bright moments in my memory, even after years. So I start to feel a much closer personal connection with someone, though the on-line exchanges may carry on in much the same fashion. Then when the second meeting occurs after some time, in this case two years, you wonder: will the other feel the same way about the connection we have as I do?
After a day of conversation, food and drink, and strolling through rainy Antwerp, what can I say: closeness of connection reaffirmed.
We talked shop, saw affluent parts of Antwerp and parts less so, had hot waffels with whipped cream, talked about personal stuff, bought shoes, chocolate, sat down for a Belgian beer and lunch, and talked more shop. Jon it was great meeting you again, and to see the passion in your eyes when we talked about how this connected world of information abundance we live in is changing, and changing us.
More photos of the day at Flickr of course.
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BlogTalk Reloaded: Software Proposals Needed
Thomas Burg announces in DevTalk that the deadline to send in proposals for BlogTalk Reloaded has been extended for software related proposals. Deadline is now May 31st.
Got tools to show? Got ideas? Send them in!
See BlogTalk Reloaded website for more details.0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink
How to Celebrate Diversity
While I drove Marc Smith, his son Eli, and Andrea Ben Lassoued back from the G.O.R. conference in Bielefeld to Enschede to meet up with Lilia Efimova, it was Marc that started the thoughts for this blogpost rolling.
At some point, after discussing opinions on the EU, and how living in a border town felt and feels, he concluded "then you are part of the international class".
True I guess. But what does that mean? Over the past 5 years the mycelium of my social network has indeed come to encircle the globe. It means my empathy now flows to a much wider range of people on almost all continents. Their local news becomes my local news too, and from it I build patterns and notions of what is going on in the world. That is a good thing: having a sense of world events build on my empathy for the emotions and experiences of distinct individuals. It brings it all home in a way the main stream media never can hope to achieve.
We do build a class I think, as Marc called it. We spend money, time and effort to meet eachother in different European capitals, we invite people we never met face to face before into our homes to stay. Going to a conference like Reboot or BlogTalk brings multiple days of very intense conversations, and exchange of ideas, while we recognize ourselves in the other. It is a heady mix and it's addictive.
I and others say it often: Europe's true innovative potential lies in it's diversity.
Not in emulating other parts of the world, best practices make you runner up at most, but in what defines us most: the patchwork of local cultures, languages and traditions that is this continent. That diversity worked against us in numerous wars and feuds across the centuries. Over the past 50 years we are increasingly finding ourselves under the roof of the EU, establishing common ground. It is a remarkable political experiment: a supranational construct that does not lay claim to any specific geographical area. Now that we start to see our common ground better and better, how to learn to build on our wonderful diversity?
What can I do, what can I take as an action list to start celebrating diversity. And what about you?
What on the agenda of an event like Reboot 8, would help us do that?
Your thoughts are appreciated.
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BlogTalk Reloaded Proposals
I just sent in two proposals for BlogTalk Reloaded, the conference that will take place in Vienna in Octobre.
The first is building on my entry for the G.O.R. conference in Bielefeld last month. I plan to do interviews with people to see how their information strategies have changed when dealing with information overload. Looking at communicative goals and the need to support relationships at different social distances will provide clues to avenues for the further development of social software tools so that they are useful for supporting information strategies in complex settings.
The second proposal is a co-production of Elmine and me. We want to share the story of the co-evolution between the emergent community/network of the IFCCC and the PatchworkPortal we use for our on-line interactions. To share the story of how it developed in the past 18 months, the lessons learned, and demonstrate the current use of the PatchworkPortal.
Now, we have to wait until June to hear how the conference programme will take shape.0 Comments and 0 Trackbacks | Permalink